Space enthusiasts claim to have decoded a hidden message on the British-made parachute that helped NASA’s Perseverance rover land safely on Mars.
Twitter and Reddit users said the phrase “dare the mighty things” was written on the parachute using a pattern representing binary computer code.
The phrase dates back to a speech by former US President Theodore Roosevelt in 1899.
Former NASA intern Emily Calandrelli explained how the post came to light after being decoded by fellow Twitter user Abela Paf.
Ms Calandrelli, who hosts science shows on Fox and Netflix, pointed out the model of the parachute, saying, “So if you look at the parachute, there are a lot of them – we’ll call them columns that go towards the center.
“There are also four main rings with different patterns. Consider a red slot a 1 and a white slot a 0.
“Ring by ring, put these numbers in groups of 10 and think of it as a 10-bit pattern. This means that each position, starting at the far right, is an exponent of 2.
“2 to 0 is 1, this one is 2, this one is 4, 8 and so on. Add up all those numbers, that’s what this column is.
“For the three inner rings, these numbers correspond to letters and it means ‘dare the mighty things’.”
Ms. Calandrelli goes on to say that “dare the mighty things” is a popular slogan at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where mission control is based.
Abela Paf wrote after crafting the coded message: “Dare the mighty things! Well done! @NASA @NASAPersevere.”
Another Twitter user wrote: “Looks like ‘dare the mighty things’ is the parachute code for perseverance mobile @NASAJPL.
“The phrase is on signs all around JPL (eg EDL War Room).”
The parachute was manufactured by Heathcoat Fabrics, based in Devon, in the south west of England.
looks like “dare the mighty things” is the parachute code of the @NASAJPL perseverance rover
the phrase is on signs all around JPL (e.g. EDL War Room)
redditor, / u / rdtwt1, set up a python script for solving
I added some comments and a diagram to explain what the code https://t.co/w67mRey5Bl pic.twitter.com/ulUdtX5Uco
– adithya (@adithya_balaji) February 23, 2021
The pattern on the outer edge of the parachute would represent 34 ° 11’58 “N 118 ° 10’31” W – the numbers giving the geolocation code of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The model would allow mission control to see at what angle the parachute was deployed and if it twisted.
Allen Chen, a NASA systems engineer, said before the Perseverance rover landed on mars last week: “It’s a feeling of being very lucky at the end … that I can work in a place with people who are both great engineers and great people, and we can still dare powerful things together . “